The Impact of COVID-19 on Horticulture: Critical Issues and Opportunities Derived from an Unexpected Occurrence
- Section 2: an extensive literature review of the pandemic effects on the horticultural sector was provided. In particular, we have developed this section distinguishing three main themes: the impact on the food supply chain, loss of revenue from ornamental plants and flowers, and the impact of COVID-19 on horticulture as a hobby and on ordinary people. We wanted to describe how the different production sectors were differentially affected and we reported specific potential strategies to consider;
- Section 3: the importance of the relisience of the horticultural sector during adverse circumstances, such as in the case of COVID-19, was explained;
- Section 4: perspectives and opportunities of the horticultural sector were analyzed;
- Section 5: finally, the main conclusions resulting from this overall analysis have been summarized.
2. Analysis of the Effects of the Pandemic on the Horticultural Sector
2.1. The Impact on the Food Supply Chain
2.2. Loss of Revenue from Ornamental Plants and Flowers
2.3. The Impact of COVID-19 on Horticulture as a Hobby and on Ordinary People
4. Perspectives and Opportunities
4.1. Horticulture Production
4.2. Horticultural Plants and COVID-19 Patients
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Horticultural Sector||Pre-COVID-19||During COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency||Potential Post-COVID-19 Organization|
|Fruit and vegetables (F&V) supply chain||Most fresh horticultural crops are available all year around: logistics are optimized for connecting short and long distance production sites and markets. |
The production costs, labor, transport and product storability define the commercialization opportunities.
|For most products, the long distance distribution chains have been interrupted due to frontier closures and the reduction in transportation channels. Moreover, because of the generalized lockdown in the early stage of the COVID-19 emergency, many workers were obliged to reduce the working hours for respecting distances and avoiding any potential risk of exposure.||Markets should consider mutiple supply channels, including local production and activation of protected cultivations or indoor production in urban and peri-urban areas.|
A percentage of the supply chain was reserved for local production, even if the production costs were higher.
|Fresh-cut or minimally processed F&V||Field production is connected with the working ability of the industry and the supermarket orders. These ready-to-eat products have a good and established supply chain that guarantees the cold chain and daily availablity in the supermaket shelfs.||The growers had fewer workers available in the field, for harvesting in open field and greenhouses as well as for the industrial product valorization. The increase of percentage of COVID-19 people infected slowed down the whole distribution chain. The remote-working and home-working conditions reduced the consumption of ready-to-eat products.||Worker availability is an important issue to guarantee the distribution chain. In the future, growers and industries have to face these situations by means of contracts with agencies that can ensure the worker substitution buffer. Special contracts should be defined on the basis of the horticultural sector specialities.|
|Cut flowers and ornamental plants||Cut flowers, cut greens and potted plants have worldwide markets with an important logistic distibution organization. Cultivations follow strict programmed production schedules that ensure commercialization in the most suitable way, with higher prices.||Since ornamental products are not essential for human nutrition, most of their production was lost and growers had to destroy crops and products. |
During the early days of the COVID-19 emergency, florists were closed and no ornamental items were commercialized.
|Producers should increase the online commercialization with home delivery. Improving the distribution chain, with optimized transportation for reducing the quality losses, should be a goal.|
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Bulgari, R.; Petrini, A.; Cocetta, G.; Nicoletto, C.; Ertani, A.; Sambo, P.; Ferrante, A.; Nicola, S. The Impact of COVID-19 on Horticulture: Critical Issues and Opportunities Derived from an Unexpected Occurrence. Horticulturae 2021, 7, 124. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7060124
Bulgari R, Petrini A, Cocetta G, Nicoletto C, Ertani A, Sambo P, Ferrante A, Nicola S. The Impact of COVID-19 on Horticulture: Critical Issues and Opportunities Derived from an Unexpected Occurrence. Horticulturae. 2021; 7(6):124. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7060124Chicago/Turabian Style
Bulgari, Roberta, Alice Petrini, Giacomo Cocetta, Carlo Nicoletto, Andrea Ertani, Paolo Sambo, Antonio Ferrante, and Silvana Nicola. 2021. "The Impact of COVID-19 on Horticulture: Critical Issues and Opportunities Derived from an Unexpected Occurrence" Horticulturae 7, no. 6: 124. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7060124